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Author Topic: ADMIN: New Board Progress Reports  (Read 11269 times)
RandallS
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« Topic Start: June 16, 2011, 10:56:32 pm »

While it may not look like it, progress is being made on our new vBulletin message board (part of our Cauldron 4.0 Project). Members of this forum have had access to the test board for a few weeks and may be wondering why nothing much has happened there this week. The answer is probably obvious: I started work on the basic installation and setup of of the real board this week. I hope to have it far enough along by the end of the weekend so that our staff members can create their accounts and help with setup up forums and other areas.

Features Already installed:

* Multiple styles: Nothing fancy but members will have a choice in the way the forum looks color-wise. As I have used more basic (css-only) styles than the ones I used on the test board, there are not all the problems with things working right on some styles and weird on others. This mean the styles don't vary as much, but I don't have to limit support to just the default style either.

* Lightweight Style: This is a special style for mobile devices. It is lightweight in size and in features. This means it does not support all the fancy features nor all of our mods, but it should be great for people who just want to read (and reply) to messages from their phone. Unfortunately for staff, most staff features do not work. Troublemakers may have to be blocked from this style as it may also let them avoid some of the limitations some mods allow us to place on problem members.

* Thread Prefixes: Certain forums (e.g. the Pagan Religions forum) will require people starting threads to select a "thread prefix" classifying their new thread (as about a "specific" religion in this case. This will make it clear which threads are about which religion. Also members and visitors wll be able to click on a thread prefix to only see threads with that prefix (for example, click on the thread prefix of any message with the "Wicca (Trad)" prefix and you will then only see threads in the forum that are about Trad Wicca. Cluick on a prefix again and you will see all the threads in the forum again.

* Articles: The article area from the test board is in place. This will allow members to write articles and post them directly. No need to submit them to me and wait for me to find time to convent them to HTML and put them on our web site. Unlike on the test board there will be multiple categories for articles. Members with "editor" powers will be able to edit articles for grammar, spelling, style, etc.

* Gallery: Members will be able to upload pictures to their own gallery. (Size limits will apply).

* Social Groups: Members in good standing will be able to create their own mini-forums with their own message area, gallery and group calendar. (And web pages if we can raise enough money (about $60) for the pro version of the Vaultwiki mod. Group can be public or private and are moderated by the group owner (subject to TC's rules, of course) -- much like groups on our various incarnations of TCN, only as a part of our board, no separate login needed.

* Quizes: A mod allows members to create various types of quizzes that other members can take.

More Soon.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 04:30:59 pm by RandallS, Reason: Typo correction: Are changed to are not in the first point second sentence » Logged

Randall
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« Reply #1: June 16, 2011, 11:20:50 pm »


* Social Groups: Members in good standing will be able to create their own mini-forums with their own message area, gallery and group calendar. (And web pages if we can raise enough money (about $60) for the pro version of the Vaultwiki mod. Group can be public or private and are moderated by the group owner (subject to TC's rules, of course) -- much like groups on our various incarnations of TCN, only as a part of our board, no separate login needed.


I can pony up $30.00 on Wednesday 6/22/11 by Paypal.
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« Reply #2: June 17, 2011, 08:31:35 am »

I can pony up $30.00 on Wednesday 6/22/11 by Paypal.

Another member has sent $10 for this over night. Vaultwiki Premium is 69.98 so it looks like we are halfway there.  If you follow the link you can see all the additional features over the Free Lite version: Each SIG could have their own area, social groups get pages, pages can be protected from changes, membergroup can be set as either able to make change or not, pages can be linked as "books" making it easy to step through them. And much more. And everything is edited in BBCode, no need to learn a new way of coding stuff.

If you'd like to see this on the new board, please donate directly via Paypal. I'll remove the link when we needed amount (with mlr52's promised donation included).

Update: With mlr52's promised donation next week, we have enough for the Pro Version of the Vaultwiki mod. This is great as it will add a lot of great features to our forum.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 08:37:40 pm by RandallS, Reason: Enough Donations received for Vaultwiki Pro » Logged

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« Reply #3: June 17, 2011, 09:10:04 am »

If you'd like to see this on the new board, please donate directly via Paypal. I'll remove the link when we needed amount (with mlr52's promised donation included).

Yay!!! I am super excited about the new board. I can donate later today when I am on a desktop.
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« Reply #4: June 17, 2011, 10:18:47 am »

If you'd like to see this on the new board, please donate directly via Paypal. I'll remove the link when we needed amount (with mlr52's promised donation included).

Don't want to use SO's paypal, poor man has to pay for a lot on the house atm anyway.  Tongue

But I'll get you something in the snail mail, like we did before.
Use it for whatever purpose TC needs.
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'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation. Thatís what people never really understood.Ö.Things had to balance. You couldnít set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long. All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.' Terry Pratchett 'Lords and Ladies'

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« Reply #5: June 17, 2011, 11:07:49 am »

More Soon.

Here's some more on features already installed:

* Media Section: A special section of the board for posting and viewing videos on Youtube and the like. This isn't so much for funny videos that we post in threads here (they can still go in threads on the new board), but for creating a library of helpful videos on Pagan and related topics. If you saw this on the test board, you know what i mean. The linked videos play on the web page and members and comment on them and discuss them. You can do this on the video's site, of course. But here it will just be members -- no spammers, Pagan haters, etc.

* Reputation: Members can give other members reputation points (with comments on why) for good posts. We aren't sure how we will impletement this yet as we do not want it to become a popularity contest. That's divisive and pointless. The ability to give reputation points will probably be limited to longtime members. We may also use separate "Helpful answers" mod where people can mark a particular message in a thread as "helpful". If we use this, it would be open to most regular members. The reason I say "If" is that there were some style-based and minor server-load issues with this that would need to be fixed before it can be used. It's a nice feature we hope to be able to get working right, however.

* Calendars: We never use the Calendar feature here because the Calendar is so overloaded with the Birthdays of thousands of members that it would be hard to use for anything else as any events would get lost with all the birthday.  vBulletin allows multiple calendars. The birthdays can have their own calendar. SIGs can have their own calendar (the Cauldron Cill should love this). Calendars can be public or private.  There's even a way to set up a calendar whose events can only be seen by the person posting them -- which makes it possible for each member to have their own private calendar (but it is really just one calendar to the server so it doesn't waste resources the way 2000 or 3000 calendars would.

* FAQ: Most boards have a FAQ style help area (SMF's help area, for example). vBulletin's is a real FAQ. It allows the addition of new categories and new questions and answers. This will allow us to do new FAQ areas on various Pagan religions and the like if we want -- and we can give select members permission to edit them directly on the board so nom one has to wait for the hosts to have time. The Vaultwiki will be better for this in some cases, however, as multiple people can easily work on the same page with revision history tracked and the like.

* Post Edit History: I haven't quite figured out how to use this yet, but each post stores the history of (almost) all edits which the staff can supposedly view. If I can figure out how to view these, it may be possible to relax our 3 minute editing timeout back to the 30 minutes we started with as we would be able to check to be sure that any edits after a few minutes were indeed just typos and not large changes that were not clearly repeated in a new post. We may also be able to force people to fill in a "Reason for Editing" -- there's a mod for this that we haven't tested yet.

* Spam Prevention: The spam prevention for vBulletin is much better, especially with a couple of nice mods. The first mod let's vBulletin use Bad Behavior to simply block a number of bad robots (that harvest emails and the like) and known spammer IPs, including uing Project Honeypot to check spammer IPs. The Stop Forum Spam mod checks new registrations against the Stop Forum Spam database and automatically blocks those with emails or IPs that are listed as spammers in the Stop Forum Spam database. We have this ability thanks to a mod here but I have to check those it thinks are spammers manually because it will also block on a username used anywhere on the net by a spammer (which generates FAR too many false positives). Also the Stop Forum Spam mod can be set to put new members in a special "New Members" usergroup (which can have more limited privileges) until a new user has posted X messages. While in that special usergroup, it can be set to scan their messages for obvious spam and put any it thinks are spam in the moderation queue instead of making them visible.  We will not be using the special usergroup feature for a week or two after opening to give most of our current members a chance to create an account on the new board without being stuck in the "New Members" usergroup until they post X (5? 10?) messages.

* Member Limits: The limit on how many PMs one can send, how many PMs one can store, how big a signature or avatar can be, how much attachment space, gallery space, and a few other things can vary by usergroup. This means that members with a donor subscription can be given most of the above than regular members.  This is something we could not do in SMF.

More Later
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Randall
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« Reply #6: June 17, 2011, 02:42:13 pm »

If you'd like to see this on the new board, please donate directly via Paypal. I'll remove the link when we needed amount (with mlr52's promised donation included).

This would be great!  I've added a few pennies to the pot.  Smiley
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« Reply #7: June 17, 2011, 03:18:19 pm »

The answer is probably obvious: I started work on the basic installation and setup of of the real board this week. I hope to have it far enough along by the end of the weekend so that our staff members can create their accounts and help with setup up forums and other areas.

I just want to say, thank you for doing all this work! I am really, really looking forward to the new board software. Smiley
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« Reply #8: June 17, 2011, 03:56:09 pm »


Meanwhile, for MUXChat 2.0, I have simplified and streamlined the basic layout of the chat, adding a newbie information room for people who are logging in for the first time, and reducing chat to the Lounge, a dorm wing for private rooms, and a conference wing for ritual rooms, small group chats, and similar stuff.

In the works: toy cleanup.
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« Reply #9: June 17, 2011, 08:05:37 pm »

While it may not look like it, progress is being made on our new vBulletin message board (part of our Cauldron 4.0 Project).
WOW! Everything you've listed so far sounds AWESOME! Cheesy
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« Reply #10: June 17, 2011, 08:39:18 pm »

If you'd like to see this on the new board, please donate directly via Paypal. I'll remove the link when we needed amount (with mlr52's promised donation included).

As the strike-through added to the quote above probably tells you, with mlr52's promised donation next week, we have enough for the Pro Version of the Vaultwiki mod. This is great as it will add a lot of features to our forum.  Thanks to those who donated!
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Randall
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« Reply #11: June 18, 2011, 02:29:50 am »

Thanks for putting all this stuff up, it sounds great and I liked what I've tested on the test forum so far!!!
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« Reply #12: June 18, 2011, 02:34:00 am »

Thanks for putting all this stuff up, it sounds great and I liked what I've tested on the test forum so far!!!

Donated a little before I saw the strikethrough-use it for the board anyway.  Smiley
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 03:54:18 am by SunflowerP, Reason: fixing quote code » Logged

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« Reply #13: June 18, 2011, 07:19:30 am »

To all who have pitched in, for this but also in more general terms:

You guys are great.  I love how supportive our membership is, and how quickly things like this get done when we need them.  Thank you!
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« Reply #14: June 18, 2011, 07:37:48 am »

Donated a little before I saw the strikethrough-use it for the board anyway.  Smiley

Thank you Sharon. I'll see what else we might want to buy.
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Randall
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